Risk sharing and export performance with firm heterogeneity

Seung Hoon Lee, Byongju Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate how market uncertainty affects the export performance of a firm through financial frictions. We first extend Melitz's (2003) heterogeneous firm trade model by incorporating demand shocks, linking the demand uncertainties to the financing costs of firms. In this extension, the default probability is endogenously determined by a firm's productivity and demand uncertainty. Hence, firms with higher productivity or lower market uncertainty are offered lower interest rates and thus show better export performance. As an application, we also show that a risk-sharing mechanism, that pools default risk for a certain group of firms, lowers the default risk. This mechanism allows banks to charge lower interest rates to the member firms and therefore ultimately improves their export performance in both extensive and intensive margins. We find a real-world example of such a mechanism from business groups in Korea. Using Korean firm-level data, we show that the more diversified the business group, the greater the likelihood that its member firms export and the bigger their export revenues. We also show that our results are robust to alternative explanations for Korean business groups’ export competitiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-719
Number of pages55
JournalCanadian Journal of Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020 May 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Canadian Economics Association

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


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